front cover

Platform: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Region: Region Not Set

Developer(s): Firebird Software

Publishers(s): MCM Software

ReleaseDate: 1988-01-04

Players: 1

Co-op: No

Black Lamp

BLACK LAMP ========== A medieval melodrama featuring the exploits of Jolly Jack the Jester, hero of this mission of daring and romance to rid a kingdom of Evil. Jack's quest is to return the enchanted Black Lamp of Allegoria to King Maxim. His courageous crusade leads through rustic landscapes and Gothic interiors dodging skull dropping buzzards, evil eagles and spitting witches to confront the fire-breathing angry dragon and battle for the Black Lamp. The reward for success is the hand of a Princess and the price of failure is Death! PROLOG Once upon a time there was a Jester called Jack - Jolly Jack, Jester by appointment to King Maxim of Allegoria. Jolly Jack, master of wit and repartee, breaker of the ice at parties with a joke here, a tumble there, a quick whack of the pig's bladder elsewhere. As long as Jack was at work, the Court of King Maxim was a happy place. However, this general hilarity served only as a temporary respite from the sad truth. For, as even the King had to admit, theirs was not a happy kingdom... Local folklore has it that the continued peace, prosperity and happiness of the kindom was due in no small part to the presence, among the Crown Jewels, of a certain set of enchanted lanterns, the most revered of which was known as 'The Black Lamp of Allegoria'. And it was certainly true that an evil blight had befallen the kingdom ever since the lamps had been stolen - whisked away in the dead of night, it was said, by Dragons. Since then, the kingdom had been plaqued by strange and monstrous beings: since then, animals, birds and insects, previously docile, were now, under some evil influence, attacking the innocent populace. And so it was that Jolly Jack was working overtime to keep spirits up at Court. And it was not easy work for him, for behind the facade of the Jester's smile, there lurked a pain that ached deep within him - the pain of unrequited love. Not that the object of his affection did not love him in return. Far from it. The problem was that she happened to be the boss's daughter - Her Royal Highness the Princess Grizelda. Of course, the King forbade such a marriage at first. The idea of his beloved maiden daughter with that Fool - it was virgin on the ridiculous! And it's true that Jack was a bit short on the usual qualifications: he wasn't even rich; he wasn't a prince; he didn't have a kingdom; he wasn't even particularly handsome. Howerver, softened by the pleas of his daughter, King Maxim came up with a cunning compromise. He would allow the marriage if, and only if, Jack could prove his worth by seeking out the Dragons, and bringing back all the echanted lamps intact. It was a good plan - he had nothing to lose if it failed - except that he'd have to find a new Jester. And if it succeeded, well, he'd have to let his daughter marry this idiot, but it would be worth it - it would be worth anything - to restore harmony to the kingodm! Jack, however, was not such an idiot as the King belived. Spurred on by love, he accepted the challenge eagerly. But not blindly, for he was fully aware that without help, the quest would be tantamount to suicide. Lucklily, he knew who to turn to ... During his time off, when not wooing the princess, Jack was wont to hang out in the taverns with Pratweezle, the King's sorcerer. Ever ready to help a pal, Pratweezle was able to conjure recuperation, enabling him to cheat death a limited number of times; and the second gave Jack's belt buckle the power to emit shattering bolts of pure Magic! And so it was that, having bade a fond farewell to Grizelda, Jolly Jack the Jester set forth, with purposeful expression and determined gait, on that fateful day... PLAYING THE GAME THE QUEST Jack's quest is to explore the kingdom of Allegoria in order to find the nine Enchanted Lamps and return them to their rightful place. As he can only carry one Lamp at a time, and as he is inevitably going to be set upon by evil Enemies of one sort of another, the quest is likely to be, at the very least, long, exciting and dangerous - or at the worst, deadly! THE LAMPS The Lamps are scattered far and wide throughout the kingdom. When Jack finds one, he must collect it and take it back to any one of the Chests. But the Black Lamp is different - it is always guarded closely by that most fearsome of Enemies, the Dragon. And the Dragon won't give it up until he's dead! Every Dragon will have a Black Lamp, so the only way for Jack to return all the Lamps is to fight every Dragon he meets! THE KINGDOM The Kingdom of Allegoria, for the purposes of Jack's quest, is divided into lots of different scenes. Some of these are outdoors, the rest indoors. Indoor scenes consist of one screen only, whereas the outdoor scenes, such as woods, lanes or streets, are wider than one screen, and consequently scroll as Jack moves along. (The Spectrum version does not scroll, but instead, the screen will flip left/right). Outdoor scenes can have exits to adjacent scenes at the extreme left or right ends, and also exits to the rear and to the front. Exits to the rear are denoted by such naturally occuring outdoor features as gates, doors, stiles, etc. Exits at the front are marked by two markers. Thus when Jack leaves a scene by a rear exit, such as a gate, the same exit will be then become a front exit of the new scene, and its location will be marked by the markers. And vice versa. Indoor scenes are more complex, in that they contain such features as tables, chairs and barrels that Jack can jump onto and from; ladders and stairs that Jack can climb up and down; and platforms that Jack can walk along or jump on and off of. Like those outdoors, the indoor scenes can have exits to the left, right, rear and front. BONUS OBJECTS Scattered around the kingdom are various Bonus Objects that Jack can collect along the way. These take the form of Musical Instruments, Weapons, Food and Drink. All these Bonus Objects are worth collecting for their points value, but, more importantly, they also have magical properties that enhance Jack's ability to stay alive and fight his Enemies. This will be explained over the page, where we take a closer look at Jack himself. JACK Jack walks with a jaunty, but determined gait, and an expression of grim purpose. He's an agile chap, so he can jump pretty well (after all, tumbling is part of the Jester's trade!). To protect himself against the various Enemeis he has his enchanted belt buckle that can shoot out bolts of pure Magic! CONTROLS Joystick control is recommended, but Spectrum and Amstrad owners can utilise keyboard, controls instead. CBM 64 owners should use joystic port two. The Joystick Button or fire key (Spectrum and Amstrad owners only) are always used to fire the Magic Bolts. The movement controls are a bit more complex... EXIT REAR /CLIMB UP/ STANDING JUMP LEFT DIAGONAL JUMP | RIGHT DIAGONAL JUMP LEFT UP STAIRS | RIGHT UP STAIRS \ | / \ | / \|/ LEFT ---*--- RIGHT /|\ / | \ / | \ LEFT DOWN STAIRS | RIGHT DOWN STAIRS | EXIT FRONT CLIMB DOWN The Keyboard controls are definable on the Spectrum and Amstrad. In outdoor scenes Jack can walk left and right through the scrolling landscapes. For the purpose of moving between adjacent scenes, he can exit rearwards (into the screen) when immediately in front of a rear exit, and forwards (out of the screen) when immediately behind a front exit. He must be facing forwards to use a front exit, or backwards to use a rear exit. When not immediately in front of a rear exit or behind a front exit, he can jump instead. In indoor scenes the exits work in the samy way. In addition, Jack can walk left and right along the floor, and along any raised platform, table or rampart, etc. He can also jump up onto things like chairs or tables, and down off of them. When at the foot or at the top of a ladder, ha can climb up or down it. ENERGY Thanks to the spells of Pratweezle, Jack has five Lives (Luckly CBM 64 users get seven!). These are governed by his Energy level. As soon as his Energy drops below zero, he will lose a life. His Energy is depleted as a result of damage sustained while fighting Enemies. He can also lose Energy by falling or jumping from too great a height. However, Energy can be regained by collection the bonus Food and Dring objects that can be found along the way. BONUS OBJECTS The other Bonus Objects have different effects: every time Jack collects a shield, he is endowed with magical Armour, making him invulnerable to the onslaughts of his Enemies. However, this invulnerability lasts for only twenty direct hits. But he can always go on to collect another shield ... Likewise, collecting a musical instrument gives him increased 'Bounce Factor', rendering him immune to damage (and consequent loss of Energy) caused by falling too far. This will only help Jack for up to five high jumps. And for every weapon collected, Jack gets Super Fire Power - making him able, for his next fifteen shots, to kill strong Enemies with just one bolt from his belt buckle! However, these 'Super Shots' will not affect the dragon. JACK'S ENEMIES Every creature that Jack will meet, whether humanoid, animal, or bird, is an Enemy. The different Enemies will try to inflict damage (and resultant loss of Energy) on Jack, so he must fight back valiantly with his Magic Bolts. But, discretion being the better part of valor, there may be times when it is better to simply get the hell out! Most of the Enemies will attack by launching some sort of projectile at Jack, whether it be Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Spreadhead, or whatever. The various types of Enemy differ in the amount of damage they can inflict on Jack in one go. For instance, a Dragon can cause a lot of damage, whereas a Werewolf will not cause so much. Likewise, some Enemies will be harder to kill than others. Thus it will take more hits to kill a Dragon than, say, a Werewolf. As a general rule, the more evil and vicious an Enemy is, the more damage it will do to Jack, and the more hits will be needed to kill it. Let's meet, in ascending order of evilness and viciousness, the Enemies... WEREWOLVES Once just ordinary forest-dwelling wolves, these poor creatures have been turned into man-eating Werewolves. Extraordinarily swift on the attack, they hurl themselves at their victim, tearing into his body in a flash until, satiated, they themselves die. CROWS As befits birds of the air, the Crows are found only outdoors. They drop inocent looking thisledowns - which explode on impact! (These creatures do not appear in the CBM 64 version of Black Lamp). BUZZARDS Buzzards too are outdoor creatures. Flying high in the sky, they are a difficult target for Jack's Magic Bolts. In their talons they carry exploding skulls which they drop like bombs at their victim. GOBLIN WARRIORS Taking the form of swordsmen, archers, or spear men, the Goblin Warriors are a force to be reckoned with. With the the archers, evil arrows are the preferred form of weapon; whereas the swordsmen fire balls of fire from the centre of their shields; and the spearmen have spearheads that suddenly detach and hurl themselves at the victim. (Spectrum and Amstrad owners will only have to confront the spear men). SLIME WITCHES The Slime Witch is an ugly old crone who attacks her hapless victim by spitting out great globs of revolting gooey green slime. TROLLS These ugly green creatures have a novel way of attacking the unsuspecting traveller. They bang the ground ferociously with their hammers until sparks of fire fly out at their intended victim. IMPS Secon only to the Dragons in nastiness are the Imps. Resembling little trident-toting devils, they prefer the subtler forms of attack - none of this weapon-waving or around-banging for them - they merely unleash flashing flames of Evil from the tips of their tridents! (Spectrum and Amstrad owners do not have to confront these evil demons.) DRAGONS The Dragons are indeed the most fearsome of Jack's opponents. There will always be one Dragon guarding the Black Lamp. But there may be others lurking around, often blocking some vital entrance or pathway. A Dragon's form of attack is to breathe out fireballs which are aimed at the victim with a high degree of accuracy. Jack can shoot these or try to avoid them, but all the time he must be trying to kill the Dragon itself. Jack's Magic Bolts will only damage a Dragon if they hit certain vulnerable parts of its body. The Dragon will give up its Black Lamp on its death. OTHER VITAL INFORMATION THE SCREEN Displayed around the main playing area of the screen are various counters and indicators ... LAMP INDICATOR - At Bottom Centre. Indicates which color Lamp Jack is currently carrying. SCORE - At Bottom Left. Keeps track of your player's current score. BONUS OBJECT SYMBOLS - At Top of screen. The Shield symbol stands for Armour, gained by collecting a Shield; the Harp symbol (An Aura Cloud on the CBM 64) stands for Bounce Factor - gained by collecting a Musical Instrument; and the Axe/Sword symbol stands for Super Fire Power - gained by collecting a Weapon. The symbol will start flashing to warn you a few seconds before the extra power runs out. ENERGY BAR - At the Bottom Right. LIVES - At the Bottom Right of the screen, indicated by the Baubles (those cute little Jester's-Heads-on-Sticks). The number of Baubles indicates the number of Lives left after the current one. EXTRA KEYBOARD CONTROLS CBM 64 Spectrum Amstrad Pause C= BREAK H Unpause C= fire any key Abort Q BREAK (when paused) ESC SCORING Your objective in playing Black Lamp is to score as many points as possible before you run out of lives. You start with five lives, but an extra one is awarded every 100,000 points. You are allowed no more than seven lives (including the current one) at any one time. You Score points for... 1. Returning Lamps safely to a Chest. 2. Killing Enemies. 3. Shooting the various enemy Projectiles. 4. Collecting Bonus Objects. HIGH SCORE TABLE The High Score table appears after each game. If you get sufficient points you can enter your name. LAMPS Score, is given when a Lamp is returned to a Chest... Spectrum/Amstrad BLUE LAMPS 3,100 points RED LAMPS 3,200 points PURPLE LAMPS 3,300 points GREEN LAMPS 3,400 points CYAN LAMPS 3,500 points YELLOW LAMPS 3,600 points WHITE LAMPS 3,700 points BLACK LAMPS 3,800 points CBM 64 3,000 Points are gained for the first lamp returned, 3,100 for the second lamp returned and so on up to 3,800 Points for the ninth lamp returned. ENEMIES Points are scored for killing Enemies, and for hitting the projectiles that most of them fire. ENEMY KILL PROJECTILE Dragon 2,500 Points Fireballs 100 Points Imp 800 Points Flames of Evil 100 Points Troll 600 Points Sparks 100 Points Slime Witch 600 Points Green Slime 100 Points Flying Slime Witch 500 Points Green Slime 100 Points Goblin Archer 600 Points Arrows 100 Points Goblin Spearman 400 Points Spearhead 100 Points Goblin Swordsman 500 Points Fireballs 100 Points Werewolf 300 Points Buzzard 300 Points Skull Bombs 100 Points Crow 225 Points Thistledowns 100 Points BONUS OBJECTS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: Harp, Bugle. Score 2,000 to 2,5000 points each. WEAPONS: Mace & Chain, Axe, Dagger. Score 1,500 to 2,000 points each. FOOD: Leg of Pork, Boar's Head, Roast Turkey. Score 950 to 1,000 points each - plus Energy. DRINK: Goblet of Wine, Horn of Ale, Flagon of Cider. Score 850 to 900 points each - plus Energy. COLLECTING AND RETURNING LAMPS AND OBJECTS Lamps and Bonus Objects are collected simply by walking over them. Only one Lamp can be carried at once, but there is no limit to the number of Bonus Objects that can be collected. If you are carrying one Lamp, and you come across another, you can swap the one you are carrying for the new one simply bu walking over the new one. If you don't want to swap, you'll have to avoid walking over the new one by jumping over it instead. To return a Lamp to any Chest, simply walk, while carrying the Lamp, in front of the Chest. The appropriately colored compartment of the Chest will then be filled in accordingly. All the other Chests will also reflect the new status. SPEED AND DIFFICULTY LEVELS During each game of Black Lamp, the action will get faster and more frantic as the game progresses. The first time you play Black Lamp you will automatically start on the easiest difficulty level. A Chest will always be located in the starting scene. The colors of the compartments in the Chest tell you which Lamps you have to find. There will always be at least one Black Lamp to find. Later levels get progressively more difficult: the speed of the game will increase, and the number of Black Lamps may increase, thus increasing the number of Dragons you have to encounter! If you actually succeed in returning all the Lamps to the Chests, you can continue the game, starting at a higher difficulty level. No two games of Black Lamp will ever be exactly the same. There can never be a set pattern for success, because for each new qame, the Lamps, Enemies and Bonus Objects will be placed in new locations. Game concept and design by Steve Cain and G.P. "Kenny" Everett Graphics by Andrew Threlfall CBM 64 Programming by Stephen Ruddy Spectrum Programming by Mike Fodin Amstrad Programming by David Anderson Music and sound by Tim Follin Developed at Software Creations CBM Protection by Tazzz and Graham Ashton Cover artwork by Graham Potts of John Martin & Associates. Based on a play guide by Henry Smithson of Creative-Technik Published by Firebird Software, 1st floor, 64-76 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1PS. WARNING Copyright subsists in all Firebird software, documentation and artwork. All rights reserved. No part of this software may be copied or transmitted in any form or by any means. This software is sold on the condition that it shall not be hired out without the express permission of the publisher. No part of this book or accompanying documentation may be reproduced by any means without prior consent of the copyrtqht holder. The only exceptions are as provided by the Copyright (photocopying) Act or for the purposes of review. If this program is faulty and fails to load, please return it to the address above and it will be replaced free of charge. This does not affect your statutory consumer rights. Firebird and the Firebird logo are trademarks of British Telecommunications PLC.

ESRB Rating: Not Rated

Genre(s): Action | Adventure

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